The Atheopagan Principles (Interregnum): Why Principles? Also, The Mystery Principle.

This is an entry which is part of a series on the Atheopagan Principles as I described them in my essay, “How I Became an Atheopagan”. To read the whole series, click on “Atheopagan Principles” in the tag cloud to the right.

This post is an “intermission” of sorts, halfway through the 13 Principles, to address the “meta” of the Principles and solicit input from the community on anything I may have missed.

First, what does it mean that Atheopaganism has Principles?

Well, let me start with what it doesn’t mean: it doesn’t mean that if you’re an atheist Pagan, I’m telling you you “have to” or “should” believe these Principles.

The essay that launched my particular flavor of atheist Paganism is about deconstructing what religions are and why they exist, and then proposing a new, supernatural-free religious path based on these understandings. I concluded that a religion, practically speaking, consists of beliefs (cosmology, values and principles) and practices (rituals and observances). So to create the new path, I needed these elements. The Atheopagan Principles are my attempt to create a set of Pagan, atheist guidelines for living as a part of the entire Atheopagan path.

I hope that the Atheopagan Principles are of value to our community. I hope that some will find them useful enough to adopt them, as I have, but if not, that’s fine, too. People create or adopt their own moral guidelines, and that’s as should be.

I am not the “Chief” of the Atheopagans. Despite managing this site and moderating the Facebook group, I don’t claim to speak with any special authority as to how Atheopagans “have to” believe or practice. If the Principles work for you, great. If you like some of them but not others, take your pick.

Secondly, I have to ask you all: did I miss something?

The Atheopagan Principles developed over a period of a couple of months, toward the end of my formulation of my essay. I felt at the time that they were complete, and I still do, but maybe I have a blind spot or two and we need more of them.

If you think there is an Atheopagan Principle that is missing from the list, please propose it in the comments.

Thank you! A post on Principle 8 will come out soon.

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